Wall Bangers: Star Trek: Enterprise

"When Travis questions Archerís decision to meddle in Ryanís command of the freighter, Archer has a philosophical justification handy. Apparently Ryan doesnít have any right to make his own decisions. He is a human, dammit, and humans act the way that Archer expects them too."

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  • Archer is a walking wallbanger. For much of the series run he nursed a grudge against the Vulcans for not giving his father scientific information that would have enabled to him to complete his warp drive before his death from Clarke's Syndrome. This often reached the point of Wangst, as Archer himself proved to be notoriously selective in sharing information when it did not suit him.
    • The near-constant whining about how unhelpful the Vulcans were is only made worse by the fact that it is made clear that they (along with other alien races) did provide humanitarian aid to war-torn post-Atomic Horror Earth! This may have been more in the areas of medical aid and help with cleaning up the irradiated environment than the warp drive technology humanity wanted. But it could be readily argued that if the Vulcans had really wanted to "hold humanity back" after making first contact with them in 2063, when the world was still an anarchic post-nuclear disaster area, they could have just gotten back in their survey ship, filed a report with the High Command recommending that they avoid all further contact and left humanity to work through its own problems. Which canonically would continue for at least a few more decades, and probably would have gone on longer without offworld assistance. Deanna Troi flat-out told Zephram Cochrane that the knowledge of the existence of aliens helped pull humanity together. Well, given the remoteness of Bozeman, Montana and the fact that the U.S. government was apparently in such shambles that they never even reacted to the Borg attack on it, it seems clear that had the Vulcans not stuck around then most of humanity would have treated first contact as a made-up story!
    • The infamous (and possibly Franchise Killing) episode "Dear Doctor" epitomized this. Archer uses the exact same You Are Not Ready rationalizations to justify not sharing warp drive technology with the Valakians. Along with other canonically-available technology, such as cryogenics, these could have helped save their race, even if the Doctor's cure, which they also withheld, did not work. Note the contrast: humanity did not really need the warp technology they were demanding from the Vulcans, it was just something they wanted. The lack of it was not even the cause of Archer's father's death. He simply did not live long enough to complete his own warp drive because of his illness. But the drive, and the Enterprise itself, were completed after his death. The Valakians, however, were deliberately left to become extinct based on the evolutionary hypotheses of Dr. Phlox and Archer's own desire to not "play God".
    • He is chosen to captain the Enterprise, Earth's first long-range interstellar exploratory ship. Yet he insisted on launching it before it was ready. This is not an exaggeration — later episodes would clearly illustrate that they did not even have the correct supplies and spare parts aboard! He is also supposed a "trained diplomat", but this is demonstrably an Informed Ability as he is repeatedly shown to struggle dealing with any kind of cultural differences, even in cases where they are not really much more extreme than the differences between many different cultures on Earth. He is Eagleland in space!
    • Archer would take every opportunity to antagonize the Vulcans, up to and including revealing their military secrets to their adversaries the Andorians. Despite the fact that, especially since the Vulcans had not known humanity all that long, nor had a strong alliance with them, it never occurred to him ("trained diplomat" or not) that his high-handedness could lead the Vulcans to decide that Earth was not a reliable ally and that they might even switch alliances to side with the Andorians against Vulcan! Which would account for the Vulcan's persistent unhelpful attitude towards Earth.
    • Attack Archer's ship and crew and expect self-righteous retaliation. Other people (even humans) in the same situation? They need to show more self-restraint!
  • Star Trek: Enterprise damaged its credibility the moment it became clear that the communicators didn't work as well as the transporters. Working "cell phones" were beyond 22nd-century Starfleet, but disassembling living and non-living matter down to the sub-atomic level, flinging it vast distances, and having it reform perfectly was no problem. Seriously?!
    • It's strange when you consider that many of the big transporter screw-ups happened in series that come later in the universe's timeline. Starfleet should have improved and perfected the technology. This is an overall, retroactive Trek wallbanger.
    • The first few episodes have some vague mutterings about the human characters being nervous about the transporters. Then the idea quickly disappears and we get the same reliable transporters as always.
  • The "decontamination gel" is simply idiotic any way you look at it. It's supposed to be rubbed all over the body. What about the privates? Shouldn't the away team be completely naked? (You'd have to aim the camera carefully, but...). It also seems that away team members aren't able to rub themselves with the gel. Instead, they have to rub one another. What would they do if only one person leaves on an away mission? Who would rub them when they come back? A decontamination shower would not only have made more sense but also have been more titillating.
    • The ship in general was utterly unprepared for containing chemical and biological threats. We've seen diseases and parasites in Trek that are capable of anything up to and including mind control, and at the very least the Vulcans should be aware of some of those threats... but the decontamination room isn't airtight, and the door to it can be forced open from the inside with trivial effort. There are no hazmat suits onboard (technology we have today) and the medical staff is critically undermanned. This goes the other way, too: at no point does anyone worry about diseases that the crew are trivially immune to but are potentially deadly to species humans haven't encountered yet. Taken together, it goes far beyond being criminally negligent.
    • Also, the gel doesn't seem to do anything to address the threat of pathogens that are transferred via a vector other than surface contact. Someone could have easily "inhaled" a virus while on a planet's surface, and it would already be inside their body. This is basically what happened in "Observer Effect". Trip was already coughing on the shuttle flight back up to the Enterprise after he and Hoshi had been digging around in an alien garbage dump without hazmat suits.
    • In the interest of fairness it should be pointed out that every science fiction film and TV programme forgets about the fact that even the simplest of bacteria and viruses we carry on a day to day basis could completely wipe out an alien ecosystem. Its a necessary evil; you don't spend thousands of dollars hiring actors only to have them hidden behind a helmet throughout most of the episode. Its the same reason they light up the visors of the EV suits even though in real life it would make it ridiculously hard to see out of it.
      • To be equally fair, however, most Sci-Fi shows don't call attention to the whole wipe-out-the-Martians thing.
      • The moment some writer says "we didn't want to rip of The War of the Worlds" is the moment this trope comes full circle.
      • On one hand, nothing is going to stop a Plague Of The Week episode if that's what the writers want. On the other hand, they could at least try to make the main characters not look like idiots.
      • They did do a Plague of the Week episode, and, unfortunately, it highlighted even more problems. "Observer Effect" makes it clear that apparently, Enterprise doesn't have any hazmat suits aboard at all. Doctor Phlox and a "nurse" (the captain of the ship, no less, because apparently Phlox is the only medical expert they bothered to bring on humanity's first deep-space exploration mission) have to treat a patient while wearing full EVA suits. Okay, that does keep them safe from possible infection, but you don't want your doctor carrying out a delicate procedure while dressed in a garment that is designed to keep you alive in space. Imagine trying to thread a needle while wearing thimbles that are slightly too big on every finger, underneath two layers of oven mitts. That's what Phlox was dealing with.
    • Just to make things worse, Vox Sola establishes that they do have at least one hazmat suit on board: the doctor is shown very sensibly wearing it while examining a dangerous and really weird alien specimen that's gotten on board the ship.

  • Is anyone surprised that the Xindi managed to blow up their home planet? They're CONSTANTLY bickering amongst themselves - they bicker so much that their council is no more effective than the UN. And they spent huge amounts of resources on a superweapon to destroy a planet - which is stupid for many reasons for any civilisation that has warp technology. Not only that, when they're duped into thinking that humans are their enemies and they have to destroy them... instead of testing their mini-death star on, say, a barren rock or moon somewhere in their own backyard... what do they do? Yup, they send it straight to Earth, tipping their hand, when, if they had tested elsewhere, they could just have dropped the finished superweapon out of warp on Earth's doorstep and KABOOM! Also, literally millions of people are killed in this pre-emptive strike on Earth, and the Vulcans are Earth's first and closest allies, but come the finale, who helps out Enterprise? Andorians (whom the Vulcans are unfond of). Perhaps Archer's racism pissed them off enough that they wanted humanity to die. It seems logical.
    • You would think that logic would have told the Vulcans that someone sending a baby Death Star to Earth would warrant, if nothing else, a number of Vulcan ships in case anything went down... but then, even a few hundred years later, the Federation seemed to have precious little in terms of Earth-based defences.
    • Archer pissed off the Vulcans by incidents like P'Jem. It's understandable that the Vulcans regard the Andorians, a real challenge to the Vulcan space power, as a higher priority than guarding some insignificant, unreliable ally such as Earth.
    • What good is alliance with the Vulcans if they're just going to hang you out to dry? Earth suffered a devastating attack and loss of life through no fault of its own. Regardless of its previous behaviour it would be politically embarassing for the Vulcans to demonstrably not aid their allies in their time of need. It would surely make other planets wonder if they should back, I don't know, the Andorians instead!
    • Even worse, Soval admits that humanity's rate of progress in the past century was somewhat disturbing, especially when extrapolated out to the next century. Wouldn't it be therefore... um... logical to try and stay on the humans' good side as much as possible? Yet they're constantly refusing to help, being condescending towards them, and generally being jerks to them.
  • The Xindi as a race (originally) comprised six humanoid aliens that come from such taxonomically disparate groups as reptiles, birds, mammals, insects, and "aquatics". But we're told that they diverged relatively recently (somewhere in the order of tens of thousands of years), are all the same species, and are genetically MORE similar than humans and chimpanzees. Now, it's true that they aren't 'technically' reptiles, birds, mammals, insects and fish, but we're expected to believe you could get that much variation in biology in less time than it took humans to go from 'short and hairy' to 'tall and bald', and with less genetic difference.
    • This one could be traced to TNG's "The Chase."

  • The biological changes made to female Vulcans and Orions are particularly noteworthy because they are technically Star Trek's two oldest species, mentioned all the way back in the 1963 pilot. The ideas were Canon Immigrants.
    • Actually there have been hints that the women ran the Orion's before. There's a mention women run the Orion pirate cartels in Star Fleet Command 1. It's accidentally let slip in in game dialogue.
    • That isn't even half the problem. Would T'Pol have been required to return to Vulcan and fight with an axe like the males? If both sexes have Pon Farr, how come males have to fight themselves if it doesn't go smooth, but females can pick someone to do it for them?
    • Like the way a male Vulcan would be automatically compelled to have sex with the closest female (or male) humanoid around. (There's a reason why Spock is the Trope Maker for modern(ish) Slash Fiction). Also you're assuming that 1) all female Vulcans look like T'Pol (which they don't) and 2) every single male would find her attractive.note  Also, the key word is "compelled", and given that Vulcans are generally stronger than Humans they'd probably do it to you (if they couldn't find someone willing) whether you want it or not.
    • Also, if it's the men who are the sex slaves,note  then shouldn't the complaint be the other way round? Oh no, I forgot: A Man Is Always Eager whether he realises it or not.

    A Night In Sickbay 
Yes, just like the Voyager wallbangers page has "Threshold", so this page really needs a special folder for Season 2's "A Night In Sickbay", widely considered to be the worst episode of Star Trek ever and generally blamed (along with Nemesis) for the franchise's temporary death. This episode is so bad that The Agony Booth's criticism of it is linked to its page on Memory Alpha, the only Star Trek episode so (dis)honored.

  • To begin with, the episode starts right off the bat with Hoshi using KY jelly to rub down T'pol, who's rubbing down Archer — all in their underwear. What makes this so wrong is that Archer is rubbing down his beagle as this is going on.
  • Archer acts like a whiny, petulant child all the way through this episode. He brought his dog to a diplomatic meeting with the people who he knew based on a previous encounter were obsessed with protocols and politeness. This meeting was necessary because Archer had already previously insulted these people, and they were the only ones for light-years around who made a part that Archer's ship needed for its engines to work.
    • It gets better. When his dog gets sick after peeing on one of the trees that are the aliens' most sacred artifacts, and the understandably outraged aliens refuse to just cure the dog, Archer threatens to pee on their trees himself.
    • Archer never considers the possible risks to Porthos that he willingly accepted in bringing him down to an alien planet. Nor does he consider that medical care for any diseases that Porthos might contract while down there may not be available, seeing as how the Kreetassans themselves are not even Human Aliens, and thus there may not be a canine equivalent on the planet with which they are familiar for the purpose of determining treatment even if they were inclined to do so. Insisting that they "cure" Porthos, to them an alien lifeform, would likely be at least as much trouble for them as it was for Phlox, and this is after Archer grievously offended them!
    • Check out the scene with Archer and T'pol in his office, too. At the beginning, he asks her if she conveyed his apologies for whatever insult he'd given to the aliens. Later, he chews her out for following this order.
  • Phlox keeps live animals in his sterile medical area, the same place where he performs surgery. He does disgusting things like clipping his toenails and feeding the results to his animals and scraping off his unusually long tongue on screen. To cap it all off, he not only has open bottles of biohazardous waste just lying around on high shelves, he tastes some of this stuff off his finger after it falls onto his coat. And this guy Archer trusts to do brain surgery on his pet???
  • There's a painfully long PG-rated sex scene between Archer and T'pol that's utterly pointless to the plot and succeeds only in being creepy. Also, the sexual tension between Archer and T'pol never existed before, will never show up again, and is only apparent from the bad sex scene, Archer's terrible Freudian slips, and Phlox's word.
  • The very idea that Archer would risk stranding 80-odd people in the middle of nowhere, 300 years from home by impulse drive, from what is essentially a childish tantrum. Has this idiot ever been given actual officer training??????
    • Archer is utterly unwilling to listen to advice from the two aliens on his crew (Phlox and T'Pol) about cultural differences, including the fact that not all societies keep pets and thus may not understand the human practice of doing so. His anger and pride also cause him to ignore the counsel of his Chief Engineer about the urgent need for the components the Kreetassans can provide them with. Essentially, he is closed to any input from the subject matter experts among his crew and only his own personal feelings matter. Even for a Mildly Military organization like Starfleet, this is not the behavior of a professional officer!
  • The closing scene, with Archer (topless and wearing a really silly alien bead headdress) struggling to properly complete the apology ritual that he spent the whole episode complaining about, is even more Narm-y than it sounds.
  • The way Archer, who is supposedly attracted to T'pol, spends almost every scene that isn't supposed to be a dream yelling at and belittling her as she calmly responds like a mature adult, is the number-one reason why they have no sexual tension. He spends the whole episode screaming at her like she's his personal servant who's failed him at every possible task, and we're supposed to believe that he has the hots for her???

    Season 1 

  • Fight or Flight (Season 1, Episode 3): What is wrong with Archer? He is fully aware that his ship's armaments aren't working the way they should, he has no idea how powerful the hostile vessel isnote , he has no idea what the circumstances were that led to a ship's crew being killednote , his crew has very little practical experience in space combat and his best officers think it's a bad idea to go back. He still decides to put the ship in serious danger for no reason whatsoever.

  • Unexpected (Season 1, Episode 4)
    • Tucker is hallucinating, panicked, and alone in an alien airlock in a spaceship that has been causing the Enterprise serious problems just by following it. Does Archer call the aliens with his concerns? No! He laughs of Tucker's pleading for help and goes off to talk to his dog. Keep in mind that Tucker is allegedly his best friend...
    • The alien woman has sex with Tucker without his consent. No matter how you square it, she intentionally deceived him (calling the alien sex a "game") in order to have sex with him, impregnated him without his consent, and got away scot-free.
    • Anything and everything to do with Tucker having a baby growing in his '''CHEST'''! That's going to be unimaginably traumatic just to carry, even leaving aside its insanely rapid growth and the inevitable agony of the little chestburster's birth. And nobody seems at all concerned about this.
    • The sexist jokes about Tucker becoming an overprotective safety freak now that he's pregnant.
      • Star Trek should by rights be the poster child for No OSHA Compliance, but the fast moving elevator with a hand rail that has the potential to sever your fingers on the ceiling above it has to take the biscuit. It isn't even implied that there is an emergency cut-off or a warning sign. And as we see this lift looking exactly the same in future episodes, it seems that the entire scene was indeed a joke at Tucker's expense instead of the realization that this is an horrifically dangerous piece of machinery that should be decommissioned immediately.
    • The Klingons being more interested in the holodeck technology than a freaking cloaking device.
    • All of the jokes mocking Tucker for getting pregnant. He was just date-raped, you dirtbags! If he were a woman, your trivializing of his rape and slut-shaming would get you instantly booted off the air!
    T'pol: One of the first things a diplomat learns is not to stick his fingers where they don't belong.
    SFDebris: God, why are you written to be such a contemptible person?

  • Terra Nova (Season 1, Episode 6): The titular colony, Earth's first beyond the bounds of the Solar System, was settled by 200 people who then promptly declared that they would not tolerate having to share a planet with anybody else! After sending some threats back to Earth, contact was lost with the colony in 2083. UESPA shrugs, declares that they don't have the resources to check it out and that they don't want to ask favors of the Vulcans. So it is not until 2151 that they finally send the Enterprise to go check out the Lost Colony. Since Terra Nova was the nearest unoccupied Class M planet to Earth, a mere 20 light years away, and since there is no way that 200 people could possibly hold an entire planet against new settlers, it says a lot that UESPA just wrote the whole world off! Especially since they were whining incessantly about the Vulcans not giving them faster warp drives so that they could travel further out into space!
    • That UESPA supposedly doesn't have the means to investigate Terra Nova is an internal plot contradiction, because the dispute with the original Conestoga colonists was over their intent to send another ship full of colonists to the planet! So wait, suddenly they don't have another ship available to go to Terra Nova? Then what was the original spat about? Unless they simply used the Conestoga colonists' threats as an excuse to wring more funds out of the United Earth government to support their research into faster warp drives. Which just makes them look even less responsible and more callous!
    • Why would UESPA believe that the colonists could make good on their threats? UESPA were the ones that designed, built and loaded the U.S.S. Conestoga. Thus they knew exactly what technology the colonists possessed. It was only five years between the colonization and loss of contact. There is little likelihood that people with limited resources could design and build a planetary defense system during that time, especially since much of their efforts would have been consumed simply establishing the colony itself. Indeed, the Novans did not possess any such technology. They did not even have a sensor network capable of detecting the incoming asteroid that hit the planet, which would have been traveling a lot slower than a starship. Obviously they did not shoot it down either. That their threats were empty was painfully obvious.
    • As of the Enterprise's recontact with the colony survivors, only 51 remained, many of them middle-aged or older, and understandably related to each other (they were the children of the original colonists and their children). That is nowhere near a viable breeding pool. Even treating their radiation sickness and relocating them to a a cleaner part of the planet does not change the fact that they are not a self-sustaining population (nor would the original 200 colonists have been). They need new people anyway. Otherwise they will die out from inbreeding within a few more generations. High-minded talk about preserving their unique culture is invalidated by that simple fact.

  • Fortunate Son (Season 1, Episode 10): marks a rather impressive moment of utterly frustrating idiocy, as Archer insists that the Enterprise must stop human freighters that are constantly being attacked by alien pirates from doing anything to defend themselves, because self-defense against pirates is wrong.
    • To make matters worse, several people very effectively call him out on how out of touch with reality his decision is, and he doesn't give any real answers to their objections beyond acting like a smug jackass.
    • This isn't even the half of it. What is the second episode after this one? Silent Enemy (Season 1, Episode 12). Where Archer is in the exact same situation as the freighter crew - his weapons and defences are ineffective, his ship has been boarded, they are cut off from any and all help and they lack the ability to escape. Does he follow what he preached and proclaim that it is wrong to defend his ship against hostile aliens? No, he in fact does the exact opposite and even calls up the aliens just to brag about how he is going to defeat them. And in fact it is exceeding likely that he would have even taken prisoners (Archer's biggest gripe against the freighter captain) if they hadn't been immune to their phase pistols. Unlike above however not one single person points out he is a hypocrite and as such we are left with the moral that defending yourself against an attacker is only fair and correct when the script says you can.
    • Also, the fact that Archer had been leading the Enterprise on largely aimless wanderings like a bunch of teenagers on a road trip justifies Ryan's anger. Starfleet has built their first heavily-armed, fast warp drive starship — and they are allowing it to just roam around in order to indulge its captain's curiosity and desire to upstage the Vulcans by looking for things that they have not discovered already. As with the Terra Nova colony, Starfleet appears to care very little about humans already living outside of the Solar System. They would much rather put their resources into finding new stuff than in taking care of humans away from Earth!

  • Dear Doctor (Season 1, Episode 13): has Captain Archer and Denobulan Dr. Phlox withhold a vital antidote intended for an alien humanoid race dying of a serious disease. They elect to cause genocide because of a set of rules (that is, the Prime Directive) that might be instituted in the future (Archer only just came up with it!) and because a second sentient humanoid race on the planet might be better off if the first race went extinct. Never mind that it lacked common sense; it also made them look like mass murderers. Interestingly, John Billingsley (who played Phlox) noted in interviews after the fact that he didn't agree with the ending for the episode, noting the above.
    • Look like??
    • The entire premise that the first race was somehow "holding back" the evolution of the second race simply by existing was utter rubbish. It was an unpleasant "parents must die for the children to reach their full potential" Aesop. Biologists long ago dumped in the trashbin the idea of an "evolutionary plan", which by some unseen hand (*cough*) progresses the evolution of species from a "primitive" stage to its destined glorious pinnacle, with Mankind (especially white people) standing tall at the top of the Great Ladder. (Manifest Destiny, indeed!) The idea is and has long been popular in Sci-Fi, but anyone espousing it clearly demonstrates that he doesn't understand what Darwin and modern evolutionary biologists are talking about! Evolution is not some inexorable "progress" to higher levels; nor does "mutation" and genetic drift work like a magic wand.
      • The second race had started with ape-like intelligence and had been fostered by the first race. They were getting more intelligent while coexisting with the first race. This was cited by Phlox as "proof" that the second race was trying to fulfill its "genetic destiny" (what?) and the first race was holding them back. It's far more likely that the second race was becoming more intelligent because of coevolution with the first race and their high-tech civilization - they were subtly being bred for it, just as 15,000 years of coevolution of humans has increased canine mean intelligence (compared to wolves). Apes held in captivity to be taught sign languages have been documented to teach sign language to their own children and other apes, both in captivity and after reintroduction to the wild! What kind of pressures to adapt to human presence does hunting and habitat destruction put on chimpanzees?
      • In a perverse sort of way though, Phlox was correct. The Valakians were going to become extinct very soon, and the Menk, whom they had been training to perform various jobs, were going to effectively inherit what appeared to be roughly a late-21st Century level civilization and all it's technology. Imagine if the Neanderthals had left behind an advanced civilization for Cro-Magnons to build upon! The Menk would experience a sudden leap forward once the Valakians were gone. But first they would have to figure out what to do with all the bodies...
    • If they never wanted to get involved, then they shouldn't have promised to help, created a cure, and then changed their minds and left only a hint. That was heartless. And then, in 'Observer Effect,' they have the audacity to cry and whine about the Organians sitting back to watch them die!

    Season 2 

  • Marauders (Season 2, Episode 6): The crew of the Enterprise is helping some miners defend themselves against a band of Klingon traders. Their plan involves an elaborate trap involving luring the Klingons into a field full of deuterium wells and igniting the wellheads. The seven Klingons, per their idiom, are armed with heavy bladed weapons and disruptor pistols as they begin to advance on the miners and Enterprise team... who number more than a dozen and are all armed with long guns of some kind. At this point, the miners have the high ground, fire superiority, excellent cover, and the Klingons have obligingly grouped themselves very close together on flat desert ground with no cover at all in a 50 meter radius. Forget the trap and just shoot them! The firefight would have lasted about four seconds, and if you don't want to kill them, use the stun setting and disarm them while they're unconscious. This would have had the advantage of being far more likely to actually work, and you wouldn't have had to set your damn wells on fire.
    • One could argue that they were trying to prevent further reprisals by forcing the Klingons to warn others not to try this, but this opens up a secondary wallbanger. This Klingon has a ship. Presumably that comes with some measure of respect, willing allies, etc. How did this not turn out to be anything less than a total backfire for the miners? Say you kill the Klingons. Surely they have friends, friends that have some idea of their activities, friends with their own ships that will violently avenge themselves upon these miners. Say you spare the Klingons. Again they have friends, probably friends with ships. Why wouldn't they come back and glass the place for their defiance? If anything, it seems like they were trying to shame these Klingons into never coming back.
      • Did we ever hear anything about the miners again? Perhaps that's exactly what happened.
    • We'd be remiss, of course, in not mentioning the deuterium wells themselves, which, just... Jesus Christ. Suffice to say, you can't get deuterium that way (especially in a desert); and being a common isotope of hydrogen—the most ubiquitous element in the universe—it's nowhere near rare or valuable enough to be of interest to the Klingons (did you pour yourself a glass of water today? Congratulations, you found deuterium). This was a mistake that Voyager repeatedly made as well, which is weird because the Star Trek universe has a laundry list of valuable, fictional resources that they could have been mining.
      • Maybe Star Trek just likes the word "deuterium"? It has the added benefit of being one of the two elements in heavy water which then many viewers either consciously or subconsciously link to older heavy water nuclear reactors. If it's used in a nuclear reactor, it must be hard to find/synthesize and expensive, right? Right?

  • Congenitor (Season 2, Episode 22): The Congenitors (obviously) are right up there with the Ocampa as another perfect example of Star Trek's hilariously low grasp of evolution. It is stated in the episode that only a measly 3% of the population are of the third sex (3 per 100 heads); which means that at the dawn of their creation when their species numbered a few thousand, there would have been only one or two per tribe/settlement tops. If it was unlucky enough to be injured, contract a disease, become sterile, get lost in the wilderness, hadn't yet reached puberty or captured by another tribe then every Vissian in the area would be rendered completely unable to breed. And if they were anything like Cro Magnon or the Neanderthal than they would have been stretched across thousands of miles of hostile terrain which would have made acquiring another one extremely difficult (and again would have made the Congenitor the absolute number one target for any invader either for use in their own group or to completely destroy the long term survival of the enemy by killing it). And no despite what you may be thinking, the episode plays this situation completely straight without even the slightest hint of a gender-killing pandemic type handwave.

  • Regeneration (Season 2, Episode 23): The episode has been criticized by fans for having the plot make several ridiculous concessions in order to justify the crew fighting the Borg in the 22nd century - and not just any Borg, either. The plot of the episode involves the wreckage of the downed Borg sphere from Star Trek: First Contact (who destroyed part of a fleet in that film) being discovered in Antarctica by Starfleet researchers. Said wreckage happens to contain still-active drones, who assimilate the researchers and a ship before being stopped by the crew. However, this leads to several retroactive wallbangers:
    • The crew interact in several ways with the Borg: they hear an audio communication from them (conveniently omitting the iconic "We are Borg" designation), they have nanoprobes obtained from Dr. Phlox and there's wreckage from the ship still present in Antarctica. Why, then, is none of this data (and there's a lot of it) factor in any way into the later Star Trek series like Next Generation (when the crew first discover the Borg)?
    • Despite having vastly inferior technology and weapons at that point in the timeline, Phlox is able to successfully hold off the Borg nanoprobes he's been injected with and provide a countermeasure for it (though admittedly a highly dangerous one and unique to his species), something even Beverly Crusher couldn't do 150 years later. Meanwhile, Reed gets many more shots off with a simple phase pistol than current-era phasers do, and he wasn't even smart enough to rotate the frequency. He just gave it more power.

    Season 3 
  • Season Three brought Seasonal Rot to a whole new level by retooling the series to be 24 IN SPACE!, minus the real time. "Chosen Realm" was one of the most insulting, trying to act as a metaphor for the 9-11 attacks - the Enterprise is hijacked by extremists with "Organic Explosives". It turns out that the only reason that the Enterprise was hijacked and people killed was that these terrorists had a feud with another faction about whether the Spherebuilders made the Universe in six days or seven. Wow. That kills the analogy. At least with 9/11, we know that al-Qaeda was (and is) angry at America itself...
    • Worse, until the reveal about why they wanted to steal the ship, the episode provided an interesting look at how religion can make otherwise nice people do terrible things, as the hijackers do indeed express distaste for what they are doing, giving us the impression that what they are doing is an act of desperation. The reveal takes that away by showing that the hijackers are not otherwise nice and reasonable people, whose religion has driven them to desperate acts of violence, but hateful, petty bigots, who lose any sympathy with the audience.
    • Hell, Season Three was just incredibly distasteful, even going beyond the ham-fisted War on Terror allegories. The entire fucking premise of Trek is "let's see what's out there". It is NOT "let's see what's out there and kill it before it kills us". Ugh.

  • Zero Hour (Season 3, Episode 24): Archer, Hoshi, Reed, some MACOs, and some Xindi councillors who have gone over to the good guys' side are preparing to board the Xindi weapon and destroy it from within, but whoever's monitoring the skies over Earth has no way of knowing that (since Archer hasn't been seen to file a report). They destroy the weapon, and the events of "Storm Front" happen. At the end of that arc, the Enterprise is greeted by a number of smaller ships. The question is: where were these ships during "Zero Hour", and why didn't they participate in that battle?

    Season 4 

  • Storm Front (Season 4, Episodes 1-2): The fourth season premiere decided they needed to tie up that whole Temporal Cold War thing, so with absolutely no warning Enterprise is suddenly drawn into an alternate timeline where WW2 Earth has evil space Nazis (and they are different from the space Nazis seen in an episode of the original series). This causes several problems.
    • This timeline is stated to be the focal point of the entire war, as it's the moment everything went to hell. So Archer was sent back to stop it, thereby deleting the entire war from history and fixing everything. It's a giant temporal Reset Button which, like many time-travel related things, makes progressively less sense the more it is analysed.
    • Daniels spent the entire previous season trying to dissuade Archer from taking unnecessary risks, only to dump Archer into a situation with zero preparation and stumble into a solution on his own. Does Daniels not remember that the last time he did something like this (that episode where the Suliban trick Archer into killing a planet), Daniels had to hand-hold him the entire way? If you can send anyone, from any point in the history of the universe, to be your temporal agent deputies, then why not send someone whose ship is a match for the Space Nazis' technology? Hell, send Kirk—that man has slapped time around so much he probably has his own wing in the temporal violations archive. This sort of thing is right in his wheelhouse. He, Bones, and Spock already have extensive experience with time travel and space Nazis (they might even still have their SS uniforms from "Patterns of Force"), and they've actually already changed the outcome of the World War II a couple of times. Come to think of it, they all spent what seemed like several weeks living in the late thirties, so they'd fit in better and be far less likely to contaminate the timeline.
    • Other than the fact that making them Space Nazis makes them helpfully evil, there's no reason given why the Space Nazis chose this particular era or alliance. Again, they're time travelers, and given they can just hop back in time and pull this nonsense, there's no reason why they couldn't do it in a slightly more advanced era in peacetime. But say they picked this one because they had to. Why the Nazis? They need resources, and the USA, the USSR, and British Empire were all richer in the kinds of resources they were asking for than Nazi Germany. Also, since the Allies won—and the aliens had no reason to care, since one of their goals was to wipe out ALL humans—and since the aliens, who have a time traveler's categorical knowledge of history, knew that the Allies won, they should have just given the Allies some cool guns and sent them on their way. By joining with the Nazis, they not only needed to give the Axis cool guns but also had to waste energy figuring out how to manipulate the timeline to change the outcome of the war. Not to mention they picked the most belligerent power to ally with, when they could have allied with the USA, who needed the help and would have gladly turned over whatever resources they wanted if it meant a leg up.

  • Observer Effect '''(Season 4, Episode 11): The One Where it is demonstrated just how half-assed early Starfleet's biohazard management protocols are, and how they don't feel it's their fault that their lack of them leads to fatal infections.
    • Even in the real world, people working in industrial waste sites often wear protective gear to guard against exposure to harmful microorganisms and toxins. Starfleet seems to have abandoned that practice. Instead, dumpster diving through heaps of alien trash is something to be done while wearing nothing more than a regular uniform. Trip and Hoshi were visibly filthy on the shuttle flight back to Enterprise, and already showing signs of being infected by something. Thus their one and only means of biohazard containment, the decontamination room, was too little, too late, to halt the disease they were already carrying.
    • How does increasing the risk of infecting your entire crew and then deliberately' exposing yourself to something you know will kill you before you can cure it to "help" two people who are already dead'' help anything? It's idiocy bordering on retardation... or perhaps that's the kind of "special" they meant.
    • Also, we are supposed to look down on the Klingons for simply destroying the shuttle that carried their infected crew rather than trying desperately to save them. Trouble is, the Klingons were established in the Pilot as having a better understanding of genetics (how many humans have we seen use a DNA strand to carry classified data and star charts?), and are well known as a species that prefers death in battle, or even honorable suicide, over simply wasting away from a disease. Yet they are considered to be in the wrong, despite Archer managing to get two crewmembers killed, himself infected, and everyone else at risk of infection.
    • Archer and Phlox, both perpetrators of genocide based on the notion of non-interference, are outraged by the Organians lack of "compassion" for not saving them from a disease that they only picked up through sheer negligence while indulging in an act of greed (hoping to find some valuable technology amidst the trash). The only real differences between what the Organians were doing with the Enterprise crew and what Archer and Phlox did with the Valakians is that the Organians stick around to see how the situation plays out, whereas Archer went back to his explorations and thus conveniently didn't have to see any more of the Valakians suffering and dying!

  • Bound (Season 4, Episode 17): The episode is full of Wall Bangers. Long story short, the Orion Syndicate has put a bounty on the crew of the Enterprise, and an Orion bounty hunter comes to collect. He does this by giving the crew three Orion women, who have the power to control men and weaken women with their pheromones. It's discovered that the women are controlling the men and using them to sabotage the Enterprise so that their "master" can come and capture them without incident. Captain Archer is trying to interrogate them, but is so enthralled that he can barely keep his head up and his eyes forward. He almost lets them out of their prison cells upon request, and he would have if it weren't for T'Pol being right there. He then goes back to the bridge, leaving them with a single male armed guard. Ten minutes later, they're out of their cells and the guard has taken 5...
    • Didn't it occur to anyone - the captain, T'Pol, Trip (who wasn't affected due to events earlier in the season) or any female member of the crew (we have a female communications officer) — that maybe they shouldn't have women who can make men do whatever they want be guarded by men?
    • T'Pol was slacking off on her Straw Vulcan duties. The instant it was discovered what effect the women had on the men of the crew, she should have immediately relieved Archer of command - by Vulcan Nerve Pinch if necessary. A few of the men were clear-headed enough to understand and go along with this almost to the end of the episode.
    • Are there no rooms with separate ventilation systems on the Enterprise? Can't they filter the pheromones out of the air? Or put the Orion women in a big soundproof box with an opaque door or force field so they can't seduce anyone else? This makes less sense because Expanded Universe prisons are often literal boxes with life support that you are beamed into and out of for visits. Okay, so Star Trek's Expanded Universe isn't canon (not even the licensed parts), but couldn't the writers have at least taken a cue from it?
      • Hey, what about that decon chamber they have on board? You know, the room that has its own life support system that is supposed to prevent the ship and crew from being exposed to alien chemicals, diseases, and what-have-you? Funny how they never once thought of that.

  • These Are the Voyages... (Season 4, Episode 22): The finale of the show is a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode in disguise, completely ignoring both shows' continuity and characterizations. The worst offender? Trip Tucker blows himself up during a hostage situation. Not once does he think to wait for a security team to arrive (T'Pol alerts everyone to intruders on the ship), nor does he try to stall for time. Instead, he has the aliens knock the captain unconscious and then leads them to a room where he intentionally blows himself up... and for what? (There is an officially licensed Fix Fic out there.) This one is so bad that one of the writers apologized to the Enterprise cast on a commentary.
    • In the same episode we learn where Tucker learned engineering. He never graduated from any institute of higher learning and instead worked on boat engines. For the record, the Enterprise's engines were clearly stated in earlier episodes to involve the use of antimatter.